It is the responsibility of software project managers to see a project through to completion, while it is the responsibility of software developers to develop the product; however, these roles are frequently switched around in an irresponsible manner. You’ve probably worked with a software developer who, despite your best efforts to get them to concentrate on software-related tasks, is instead bogged down with administrative tasks such as scheduling, budgeting, and attending meetings with stakeholders.
Or it could be a software project manager who is great at delegating, who stays on track with the budget, and who performs scheduling magic, but who for some reason gets sucked into micromanaging your developers and ends up unintentionally inserting themselves into the process of developing the software. It’s possible that this is why software developers don’t have a lot of respect for project managers, but we can’t ignore the fact that without them, software development projects have a much more difficult time coming to fruition. Let’s talk about the value that software project management brings to the software development life cycle (SDLC), as well as the future of the role of project managers in the software industry.
Software Project Management is Important in SDLC
Software project management is essential to the process of developing software in SDLC because it facilitates relationship management and monitors all aspects of the project that are not directly related to the development phase. Software project managers relieve you of the burden of management-related responsibilities. These activities consist of:
- Establishing a schedule for completion of the project.
- The process of determining and communicating the software project’s objectives.
- Taking care of the project’s financial matters.
- Putting together different product teams for the project.
- Taking charge of the members of the team and their respective schedules.
- Checking in with members of the team to make sure they are receiving the necessary amount of support.
In addition, project managers make use of the extensive interpersonal skills they possess in order to bridge the communication gap that exists between software developers and the remainder of the organisation. The following are some of the reasons why relationship management is important for software development:
- It strengthens our relationships with both our customers and our team.
- Ensures that teams, stakeholders, leaders, and customers are all effectively communicating with one another
- Facilitates the understanding of software terminology among people who are not involved in the industry.
- Creates a chronological account of the communication.
- guarantees that significant questions are posed and, eventually, answered.
- Enables vital conversations to take place throughout the entirety of the development process.
One of the reasons that your project manager is so crucial is the fact that they are also capable of finding solutions to problems. In the event that someone leaves the firm, if there is a problem with the timetable, if there are unforeseen needs for software development, and if there are not enough resources for the project, you can rely on them to come up with a solution.
The Development of Software and Project Management Are Complementary Processes
Software development in SDLC and software project management are complementary activities that help to bridge the gap between the individual and the overall product aspects of a project. They collaborate to establish the foundation for a software development project that runs smoothly. While software developers concentrate on the finer points of creating the software, project managers are responsible for overseeing the overall project.
A project manager is responsible for addressing all of the existing as well as potential challenges that may slow down the development process. They make sure that the members of the team are cared for and that they are working together in a positive and productive manner. They also communicate with the stakeholders and the leaders of the company. They offer continuous support and maintenance, which is necessary due to the unpredictability of the software development process, including the following:
- maintaining a list of bugs that require fixing.
- determining which updates are required for the software to function properly.
- Keeping a record of any maintenance problems that crop up during the development process.
- modifying project timelines and goals so that they are more aligned with the actual project being worked on.
- Making it possible to conduct testing and experiments that are unique to these types of projects
- ensuring the completion of the project by taking into account the particulars that are required for advancement.
- Providing assistance to developers of software while also managing the more junior developers working on the team
The failure to communicate effectively or consistently can be fatal to a software development project. Your project manager is the primary point of contact for company leaders and software engineers. This person is responsible for providing project updates, defining project goals, and ensuring that you are on track to meet those goals.
The Position of Project Managers in the Software Industry in the Years to Come
When there is a need for a change in the software development process, project managers check to see that the project’s scope has not been compromised. They ensure that you are able to maintain your dedication to finishing the software project on time, that you do not exceed the allotted budget for its development, and that you have access to all of the resources that are required to finish the project without a hitch even when necessary changes become apparent. The fundamental functions and responsibilities of a project manager won’t shift, but the following factors will be increasingly important to the project manager’s long-term success in the field of software development:
The utilisation of software for managing projects that are hosted online.
In the past, the planning stages of software development projects were primarily completed with a pen and paper. This involved manually planning out the steps, strategies, and systems that you will use to finish your project. Before the development of online tools for project management, the majority of a project’s components would have to be recorded manually. You can easily plan, execute, manage, and maintain your software project in SDLC with the assistance of online software project management tools, which give you more flexibility and ease of use. They can assist project managers in the following ways:
- Carry out an investigation into high-risk scenarios that have the potential to slow down the project.
- Incorporate any changes that are necessary into their plans.
- If necessary, make plans for unforeseen circumstances.
- Examine how they are utilising the project’s resources.
- Delegate particular responsibilities to particular members of the team.
- Monitoring the completion of tasks
The best software for managing projects also enables you to easily monitor and assess the impact of implemented changes, as well as record and track those changes. You also have the ability to delve more deeply into the analytics of how effectively you are managing the project.
Adopting a combined Systems Analyst/Project Manager position
Systems analysts can make a smooth transition into software development project managers since their duties are so intrinsically linked to the product’s specifics, just as those of software developers. To create the most effective project manager for the software development sector, it is suggested that the roles of a project manager and a systems analyst be combined, if at all possible.This would result in the creation of the most effective type of project manager for the software development industry. Analysis of a company’s data-generating, data-gathering, data-sharing, and data-using systems and software is the responsibility of a systems analyst or a site reliability engineer. They then determine which computer systems will result in an increased level of productivity for that process and offer suggestions to company leaders regarding how those systems should be implemented. A software development project is managed by a project manager, who is responsible for managing the teams working on the project as well as the overall project.
Specializing in managing remote teams and projects
As we work through the aftermath of this global pandemic, a significant number of software development teams will rely even more heavily on remote workspaces. You will need to recruit developers from different parts of the country in order to put together a team that will work collaboratively on software development. This will result in different time zones, languages, personalities, and backgrounds, as well as different expectations regarding the successful conclusion of the project. Make that the project manager for the software development projects you are working on is aware of this trend, has experience managing remote teams, and can complete a project from anywhere in the world.
To be successful in the future, project managers will need to be able to manage teams remotely and delegate project tasks in a manner that is representative of the strengths of each team member as well as the vision for the final product. They will be responsible for ensuring that the software project maintains its high quality and that they provide the necessary support to each of these remote developers so that they can feel like an integral part of the team. In the field of software development, a project manager who specialises in the management of remote software teams will have a difficult time finding work. This can be attributed to the widespread COVID-19 pandemic that occurred around the world, as it caused a significant shift in the use of technology.
How Do Project Managers Add Value?
Project managers are in charge of numerous duties. Throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC), a project manager is in charge of a multitude of distinct responsibilities. Just a few of the numerous examples are as follows:
- We serve as the Client’s and Development Teams’ Single Point of Contact (PoC).
The project manager acts as the central hub for all communication pertaining to the project. We are responsible for coordinating meeting times and locations, taking minutes of meetings, communicating requirements to both developers and clients, and even translating developer jargon into terms that clients can understand. Because developers are notorious for their introversion, one of the most important skills in our toolkit is the ability to coax information out of them and communicate it to customers.
- Maintaining Quality, Consistency, and Product Delivery is a Priority for Us
Development, quality assurance (QA) staff, technical leads, and client stakeholders are all necessary members of the team for SDLC projects. It is not uncommon for there to be more than one team of third-party developers. Maintaining consistency in the overarching objectives of the project can be facilitated throughout its entirety by designating a single point of contact for each of the aforementioned stakeholder groups.
- We make certain that SDLC standards, such as ISO and CMMI, are adhered to at all times.
The International Standards Organization (ISO) and the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) are two standard ratings and guidelines that are given to organisations that develop software if those organisations are able to show that they are dedicated to a tried and true process for the software development life cycle (SDLC). It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that these standards are adhered to by the teams.
- We Document Everything
It is the responsibility of a project manager to either create the necessary documentation or ensure that it is finished in a timely manner. This responsibility begins with business requirements and continues all the way through plus/delta reviews. The quality of the project’s documentation can determine its success or failure. Poor documentation during the phase of gathering the requirements has caused dozens, if not hundreds, of additional hours of development work in my experience. Not only does accurate documentation assist an organisation in maintaining its certification with industry standards, but it also assists all parties involved, from stakeholders to end users, in developing a good working knowledge of the software.
- We Manage People and Teams
There will always be some element of managing the team involved in the daily tasks of the project manager, even if organising and documenting are important tasks. This will be the case up until the point where machines take over and people are no longer required to write code. Having a personal relationship with both your customers and your teams helps the project move forward. Remembering that Prasad is getting married in May and will be taking two weeks off, and mitigating that risk by assigning him to give good knowledge transfer to a back-up, could mean the difference between meeting a deliverable deadline or missing it entirely. In a similar vein, knowing that the most important stakeholder will be absent during the User Acceptance Testing phase of the project could also result in the project’s failure.
Understanding how the team works together is essential for effective communication and delivery. A great project manager understands how to manage people on a personal level, and as a result, they are able to extract the maximum amount of productivity from their teams as well as their clients. A good project manager is one who follows all of the appropriate steps and procedures.
The SDLC gives structure to the difficulties of moving from the start of your project to its completion without skipping a step. These challenges must be met in order to successfully complete the project. Today, professionals rely on a variety of different SDLC models to steer them in the right direction as they carry out their project-based work. The following is an analysis of the benefits and drawbacks associated with six SDLC models for managing projects and leading campaigns.
Finish one phase before moving on to the next in the Waterfall method, which is the most traditional and straightforward of the structured software development life cycle (SDLC) methodologies. There is no turning back. Each stage has its own project plan and utilises the information obtained from the stage that came before it. Waterfall is simple to comprehend and straightforward to administer. However, even early delays have the potential to throw off the entire timeline for the project. Because there is little room for revisions once a stage is completed, problems cannot be fixed until the maintenance stage has been reached. This model does not function well when there is a requirement for flexibility or when the project is long term and ongoing.
- V-Shaped Model
The V-shaped model is an evolution of the waterfall model that evolved to include a testing phase corresponding to each stage of the development process. This model is also known as the Verification and Validation model. Similar to Waterfall, each stage won’t begin until the one before it has completely run its course. This strategy is helpful when there are no ambiguous requirements because it is still challenging to go back and make adjustments.
- Iterative Model
The iterative model is the embodiment of the concept of repetition. Implementing a set of software requirements first, then testing, evaluating, and identifying any additional requirements, is a more effective strategy than beginning with fully known requirements. Each phase, also known as an iteration, results in the production of a new version of the software. Continue doing this step as many times as necessary until the entire system is ready. One benefit in comparison to various other SDLC models: This model provides you with an early version that is already functional and makes it easier and more cost-effective to implement changes. One of the drawbacks is that carrying out the process over and over again can quickly use up all of the available resources.
- Spiral Model
One of the most adaptable SDLC approaches is the spiral model, which borrows from the iterative model and its recurrence. Up until it is finished, the project runs through the same four phases repeatedly in a “spiral,” allowing for numerous iterations of improvement. With this model, it is possible to construct a product that can be highly customised, and the input of users can be incorporated into the design process at an earlier stage. On the other hand, there is the possibility that you will create a cycle for the project that will never come to an end.
- Big Bang Model
When it comes to SDLC approaches, the Big Bang model is a bit of an anomaly because it does not follow a certain procedure and little time is spent planning. Even if the consumer might not fully comprehend what is expected of them, the great bulk of resources are dedicated to development. One of the SDLC models that is typically utilised for small projects that consist of only one or two software engineers is shown here. It is not recommended to use the Big Bang model for large or complex projects because it is a high-risk model. If the requirements are misunderstood at the beginning of the project, you may not realise until the very end that the project needs to be restarted from the beginning.
- Agile Model
The Agile development approach is regarded as a very realistic method of product creation because it swiftly delivers a working product by partitioning the development of the product into cycles. The model generates continuous releases, each of which contains a series of relatively minor improvements over the previous release. The final product is evaluated after each iteration. This model places a strong emphasis on interaction because it requires the customers, developers, and testers to collaborate throughout the entirety of the project. But because this model relies heavily on interaction with customers, the project may go in the wrong direction if the customer is not clear on the path that he or she wants to take.
Which SDLC model is right for you?
Each of these SDLC methodologies provides a distinct process that can be applied to the many different types of project challenges that you will face throughout your career. Not only the result that is anticipated, but also the parameters within which the project will be carried out have a significant impact on which option is the most suitable.
In addition to supervising all management-related tasks that could slow down the progression of the software project, project managers are responsible for relationship management in the software development process. Software development and software project management are complementary fields because when they collaborate, they find a way to do their work in a way that doesn’t interfere with either party’s ability to focus entirely on their own responsibilities without being distracted by the other. Utilizing online software project management tools, embracing a dual role as systems analyst and project manager, and developing expertise in working in remote environments are three factors that will determine the trajectory of the project manager role in software development.
How Project Managers Add Value to the SDLC. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2022, from https://blog.vsoftconsulting.com/blog/how-project-managers-add-value-to-the-sdlc
Half, R. (2022, June 2). 6 effective SDLC models: Which one is best? Robert Half®. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from https://www.roberthalf.com.au/blog/employers/6-basic-sdlc-methodologies-which-one-best